There’s no doubt that customer feedback is critical to the success of any business. In fact, it’s been said that “customer feedback is the oxygen of a company.” Why? Customer feedback tells you about the effectiveness of your products and services and helps you identify opportunities to improve your overall customer experience.
But finding effective ways to gather helpful and constructive feedback can be challenging.
In this article, we’ll talk about customer feedback, why it’s important and powerful strategies to gather customer feedback easily, and what to do with it.
What is customer feedback?
Customer feedback is any information or opinions your client or customer provides about the products they purchased from you or the services they’ve received.
It gives you valuable insights about their experience working with you and can help you improve your products, processes, communication, and other operational parts of your business.
Customer feedback can take many forms: it can be written, audio or video, and it can be collected via surveys, emails, or even on a call.
If you’re not yet proactively collecting feedback at the end of your projects, then it’s time to make it an integral part of your process because you’re making assumptions about your client’s satisfaction without it.
What makes feedback “constructive”?
There’s a big difference between:
“This was a good experience,” and
“I enjoyed working with you. I really liked your communication style and that you kept me in the loop of every development. I found the onboarding a little overwhelming as there were so many moving pieces, but the extra consultation call on Zoom with your live walkthrough made it easier for me.”
Both are positive answers; however, the first doesn’t give us much detail about which parts of the experience the client enjoyed and what we may potentially still need to work on. In the second answer, we’ve got some helpful insights from our client about how we can improve our onboarding process to make sure it’s as smooth as possible for future clients.
Therefore, constructive feedback can be defined as anything that helps you make improvements for your business and is specific and actionable.
Getting constructive feedback from your clients
We often blame the client for not providing helpful feedback that we can use for business improvement and development. But is it really their fault?
Try to put yourself in your client’s shoes. When was the last time you were asked to answer a couple of questions or fill out a survey for feedback? Is that something that excited you? Probably not!
Providing feedback isn’t the most exciting and fun thing to do, so it is your responsibility as a business owner to make it as easy (and possibly fun!) as possible for your client to share their thoughts with you. Here are some strategies to encourage your clients to provide you with helpful feedback and tips on how to do that:
Create a checklist or guidelines for your client
As mentioned earlier, providing constructive feedback is more complex than we think for clients. They may not always know what to say or how to say it, so any guidance you can provide to them will be appreciated.
You can put together a simple one-page checklist that outlines all of the key points that you would like to get feedback on from your client or things they need to keep in mind when answering your questions and sharing their thoughts.
Make it a natural part of your process
Instead of sending a long-form survey at the end of the project (which you should still do – more on that later), make feedback a part of the entire client relationship.
For example, schedule time at the end of your client meetings or calls to ask for feedback from your client about how the project is going and if they have any comments, remarks or areas they need clarification on. That way, feedback becomes a natural part of your conversation instead of something your client may feel forced to think about.
By doing this, you may also reinforce your client relationships by promoting honest and open communication where both parties can freely express any concerns they may have.
Create an open-ended survey or questionnaire
You may also want to allow your clients to complete an open-ended survey where they can freely share their thoughts and provide feedback on their overall experience when working with you. Open-ended questions are structured to let the respondent give as much detail as possible about their experience and are best sent at the very end of the project.
This is a much more effective strategy than simply asking your client to “provide feedback” via email, as you can ask them specific questions you want to address and get detailed responses in return.
In Yocory, you can create questionnaires and surveys from scratch with our easy-to-use editor. We even provide you with a “Post-Project Testimonial Request” template with six powerful questions to ask your clients at the end of a project to gather insightful, constructive feedback.
Example question: “Tell me more about how you felt before we started working together?”
Once your client submits the feedback form, you can use their answers to craft a powerful testimonial you can use for promotional purposes on their website or social media after getting approval from your client.
Ask relevant questions only. Don’t overcomplicate your survey by asking irrelevant questions that don’t provide value to your customers or by asking questions you already know the answer to. Keep it brief, no more than eight to ten questions at the most.
Top Ways to Collect Client Feedback
There are many different ways to collect client feedback. Ultimately, you need to choose the best method for you that will make your client most comfortable.
For example, if your client is quite reserved but is a great writer, then sending them a brief feedback form may be best. On the other hand, if your client has a chatty personality and is comfortable sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly with you, you may decide to jump on a quick call with them to discuss it openly.
Popular feedback collection methods:
- Online surveys/questionnaires
- Direct conversation (in a meeting or on a call)
- Email (whether direct email or an automated feedback collection workflow)
- Online tools and widgets
- Website analytics
- Social media
Remember that no matter which method you choose, you always want to prioritise the quality of the feedback you wish to receive, as it will affect what you can do with that feedback.
What to do with the feedback you receive?
You received feedback – excellent! What now?
First of all, welcome all types of feedback – positive and negative. While you can quickly turn positive feedback into testimonials and share it across your channels, any criticism you receive can be turned into actionable items to improve your business further.
What to do with positive feedback
The client is happy – that’s amazing! Make sure you get back to the client to thank them for the valuable and cheerful feedback and express how you’re looking forward to potentially working together again.
You may also take their feedback and turn it into a testimonial to share on your website, case study project, or social media channels. In fact, you definitely should do that!
Before you share anything, however, ask your client for permission to use their slightly edited testimonial or if there’s anything they’d like to change. That way, you can ensure that you’re using their feedback in the most effective way possible.
What to do with negative feedback
Don’t panic! That’s normal. Whenever you receive negative feedback from someone you value, it will make you pause for a minute. However, there’s nothing bad in negative, constructive feedback.
In fact, such feedback is often necessary so you can improve, grow and evolve into a better business in the future. Thus, you should use it wisely to enhance your customer experience and ultimately grow your business. First, thank your clients for taking the time to share their feedback and let them know that you’re always open to hearing what they have to say.
Then, try your best to address their concerns and avoid making any mistakes in the future. Don’t be afraid to ask your client for clarification or suggestions on how you could improve. In other words, always be receptive to new suggestions and ideas that help you develop better services and products in the future.
Customer feedback is essential for any business to succeed and grow. While not every feedback is valuable, it is often the responsibility of the business owner to help their client provide constructive feedback that is helpful and usable to their business.
While this may not always be the most exciting part of your process, you need to take the time to collect and properly analyze feedback to improve your business and provide customers with the best possible service.
In Yocory, we make it easy for you to send a questionnaire requesting client feedback. In fact, we take it a step further and provide you with a free template inside our Template Builder with powerful open-ended questions for your client to answer.
Sign up for a free trial today to get started with Yocory, or start exploring by signing up for a free account first.